Population Growth

May 12, 2015

Central Ohio’s population is growing and this trend goes back over the last four decades.  Currently the 15-county region is home to over 2 million residents.  It is estimated that our population will grow by an additional 500,000 residents over the next 35 years. 

Looking at our region’s population data from 2013 to 2014 helps to understand how we are growing. During this timeframe, we grew by over 25,000 people. Population increase is due to two factors: natural change and migration.   Natural change occurs with births and deaths, while migration is when residents move in and out of an area.   Central Ohio reported 18,000 deaths between 2013 and 2014 but also reported 30,315 births; therefore, the region’s natural change in population growth was 12,315 people. 

As for attracting new residents to the region, 5,000 people from other countries moved to Central Ohio and over 8,000 arrived from within the U.S.  The components of our population growth are outlined in MORPC’s 2015 State of the Region report and can be found here SOTR2015>>.

Central Ohio’s growth reflects a unique trend when compared to other large metropolitan areas in Ohio.  Other parts of the state have typically experienced slow growth or a decline in population during the same time period.  For example, Cleveland’s metro area saw a decrease of 1,730 residents.  Whereas in the Midwest, the Columbus metro area is second only to Minneapolis in the number of people added.   

For decades, our region was ranked as the third largest metro area in Ohio behind Cincinnati and Cleveland.   However, at current growth rates, we are positioned to take the second place spot from Cleveland in the next two to three years.

For additional information please contact Mike Borger of MORPC’s Regional Data and Mapping Department at or 614.233.4155.